Irrespective of how the world economy has been shaping, one of the ever-growing business sectors is healthcare. According to research, spending and developing applications for the healthcare sector have remained stable and are expected to grow 5.8% between 2021 and 2022. This growth is estimated to be about USD 8.8 trillion. Since the spending is not taking any backseat in this sector, more applications are getting developed for an improved experience for the patients, users, caregivers, doctors, insurance companies, hospitals and clinics, and stakeholders. With the worldwide web and mobile devices playing an essential role in the healthcare system, it is also important that the application's know-how warrant data security when developing the app. Since any healthcare app needs to be HIPAA compliant, it is vital that, as an EHR, you need to include the security feature in the HIPAA app development price.
As an entrepreneur, if you want to get into the healthcare market with an app, there are a few ways you can warrant the app is HIPAA compliant. This article will discuss some of the steps you can use to develop a HIPAA-compliant app.
Apps and HIPAA – The relationship
Before we go into the steps, you should follow to develop a HIPAA app. The question might arise what is HIPAA? In 1996 an act was enacted known as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act or HIPAA. The act was formed to ensure data protection of the user and patient data protection while reducing the overall healthcare cost and giving health insurance protection to those who fail to have one because they lost or changed their jobs.
Over the years, HIPAA compliance has become the standard procedure for any medical work. It was the same when the papers used for recording the documents transitioned to drivers and from there to the cloud. It is interesting to note that the transition has been quick, and the move from drivers to the cloud is still growing. This is because the exorbitant quantity of data that the healthcare providers have to work with allows them to have effective and easier management when it is cloud-based. The cloud-based service also warrants that the authenticated user from anywhere can easily access it.
In all these, HIPAA becomes an important factor because healthcare providers are dealing with sensitive information and data protection, and ensuring its privacy is crucial in healthcare technology. Therefore, abiding by the HIPAA rules is mandatory when developing a healthcare application, including the HIPAA app development price.
Steps For Developing HIPAA App
Now that we have a better understanding of how HIPAA plays a role in healthcare app development let's see the five vital steps you need to have when developing a HIPAA compliant mobile app.
1. Hiring An Expert
Since you must comply with every HIPAA requirement when developing a healthcare app, you must have the right experience. The best way to ensure your app is HIPAA compliant is to get an expert to do the job. You can outsource the project and do the initial consultation and even audit the system. Mainly if you are a start-up finding an expert to do the job will be most helpful.
2. Separating The PHI
Protected Health Information (PHI) data must be separated from the other data you will collect via the app. Therefore, evaluating the data to know which PHI data you can transfer and store when developing the healthcare app is vital in following HIPAA compliance.
3. Using Third Party
Developing a HIPAA complaint app is quite costly. You are looking at a minimum of $50,000 to make a customized healthcare app that adheres to HIPAA regulations. While the cost includes the technical and physical security of the app, you also have to spend quality time to get the required certifications and audit the system. Since in the market there are quite a few HIPAA compliant solutions, why not use them. It will cost you less, but a third-party brand will give you reliability, and you can use it to store the data and handle the PHI data. But remember to sign a detailed agreement with the third-party brand whose infrastructure you will be using.
4. Encrypting All Data
Irrespective of whether you are storing the data or transferring it, all of them need to be encrypted. It will ensure even if there is any security breach (but there shouldn't be any, ensure you have a robust security system), the data cannot be stolen or misused. Using multiple levels of obfuscation and encryption is vital when developing HIPAA compliant app.
5. Constant Update, Test, Maintenance
Remaining HIPAA compliant even after the app is launched is vital. For this purpose, the app should be updated regularly. And after every update, the app should be tested statistically and dynamically. Also, all the tools, frameworks, libraries, and documentation should be up to date and maintained regularly. It will warrant robust security that can thwart any data breaches.
With these steps in place, you are a few steps closer to developing a HIPAA-compliant mobile app. However, if you consider the HIPAA app development price, it depends on a few factors.
Some of them are:
• Who are you hiring to develop the app, i.e., if it is a USA company, it will charge you more than EU based company or an Indian company. Generally, an Indian developer or development company will charge you less compared to US or EU countries.
• The reputation of the company and how many technical heads are you hiring for the project will determine the cost
• The size of the app and the platforms on which it will be launched will influence the price too.
Final Words Developing a HIPAA complaint app in this day and age can prove to be quite beneficial for an entrepreneur. It is one of the most in-demand apps, and when you get it right, the investment is worth it. All you need is the right expert to partner with to develop the app.